Erin Green was selling phones and phone service when she had her lightbulb moment: Why not work for the clients, instead of the quotas?
Green – who was named Woman Enterpreneur of the Year at the 2016 Disrupt Erie Awards – ultimately turned her big idea into a growing business.
Today, Verify! continues Green’s original mission of advocating for businesses from its headquarters in Waterford Borough. The company helps businesses identify and secure potential savings in their phone and internet services, their cell phone plans, and even their gas and electricity usage.
Green estimates that 8 out of every 10 businesses that Verify! audits can achieve some monetary savings – and others might find a way to save on efficiency. And after those savings are identified, Verify! can help businesses make changes by offering project management services.
For Green, one of the best parts about Verify! is that it brings money into the local economy. About 80 percent of the company’s clients are located outside of Erie County – some in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, with others as far away as Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Verify! has been growing, and the company hopes to hire more people this year. But that growth has been careful and deliberate, Green says, to ensure that Verify! maintains the level of service that is its hallmark.
It all comes back to the big idea that built the business: providing the best service that can help its clients achieve success.
About Verify!: The business consulting company currently has a team of nine, with the majority of those employees working as project coordinators. Green, the founder and owner, incorporated Verify! in 2006 after working as an independent consultant since 2002.
Why Erie County: Verify! is committed to staying in Waterford, or the near vicinity, because of the dedication of its staff. The close-knit team is largely from the Waterford area, and Green says she is glad to be able to bring good-paying jobs to the borough. The centralized location of Erie County is also an asset. Verify! can send a representative out to larger business hubs like Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh on day trips, rather than longer overnight stays.
Challenges of Erie County: One of the biggest challenges that Verify! is facing is finding space to expand. Green is eager to add new employees but has no place to put them, since the current staff has filled every nook of the company’s current building – which she considers a “good” challenge. Verify! is now working with the Erie County Redevelopment Authority to find and secure space to grow.
Coming up next week: We visit SEPCO-Erie in Summit Township.